98118’s Diversity

The Seattle Times Blog has an interesting blog post looking into Seattle’s overall diversity. The post doesn’t get into the long-running rumors of 98118 being the nation’s most diverse zip-code, but it does provide an overview into how Seattle ranks nationally and provides some good graphics to dive into. As Gene Balk writes in “Think Seattle isn’t diverse? Take a closer look,”


But that isn’t the end of the story. Even though Seattle, overall, doesn’t have a high degree of diversity, if you focus on its neighborhoods, a different picture emerges.

I calculated the diversity index for each of Seattle’s 483 “block groups” – a small census geography, typically containing fewer than 2,000 people.

As you can see, there is a wide range of diversity among these small sections of Seattle. Many have a high degree of diversity, and one-third are more diverse than the U.S. average score, 56.

The highest diversity in Seattle runs from the Central District down through Rainier Valley, and in the Delridge and White Center sections of West Seattle. There is also above-average diversity in Northgate, around the University District, and in some downtown neighborhoods.

The most-diverse block group, with a diversity index of 77, is in Delridge, just to the east of the High Point development. This small area is 29 percent white, 26 percent black, 21 percent Asian, 16 percent Hispanic, and 8 percent people of some other race, or more than one race.

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